July 24, 2014

Motorola outlines the process of getting Ice Cream Sandwichfied

Android-Ice-Cream-Sandwich

As soon as Ice Cream Sandwich was announced, people wanted to know whether or not their devices would be getting it. Manufacturers do their best to let us know which devices will or will not be receiving the latest updates, and Motorola has already given a statement regarding a few of their devices that will be getting Ice Cream Sandwich, but what about time tables? Updates don’t always go out as quick as we would like them to and ICS will be no different. But why do updates take so long? Motorola wants to help us better understand what goes into getting these updates onto their devices and why it’s not as easy as just hitting “update.”

1. Merge and adapt the new release for different device hardware architecture(s) and carrier customizations

This means that we take the source code and incorporate it into upgrades for devices on which this can perform well, along with making sure the carrier requirements are met. Silicon partners such as Qualcomm, TI, and nVidia adapt this to their chipsets in parallel and we incorporate these as they become available. This is also the time when we begin integrating all of the Motorola-specific software enhancements into the source code. Features like MotoCast, Smart Actions, and our comprehensive enterprise solutions are integral parts of our device experiences, and we want to make sure we continue delivering differentiated experiences for our consumers with these software upgrades.

2. Stabilize and ‘bake’ the result to drive out bugs

This means that we will prepare the upgrade to meet the quality and stability requirements to enter the wireless carrier’s certification lab.

3. Submit the upgrade to the carriers for certification

This is the point in the process where the carrier’s lab qualifies and tests the upgrade. Each carrier has different requirements for phases 2 and 3. There may be a two-month preparation cycle to enter a carrier lab cycle of one to three months.

3.5 Perform a Customer pre-release

We may perform some customer testing before a final release is delivered publicly to our user base.

4. Release the upgrade

We are planning on upgrading as many of our phones as possible. The ability to offer the upgrade depends on a number of factors including the hardware/device capabilities, the underlying chipset software support, the ICS support and then the ability to support the Motorola value add software.

While this helps us better understand the process, it’s kind of depressing coming to the realization that ICS may be a ways away. I bet that Verizon Galaxy Nexus is starting to look a lot more appealing to some of you. Well, there’s always the old “root and mod” solution to speed things up. Get cracking Motorola!

Source: Motorola Blog